My heart skips a beat a bit too often and it worries me because they tell me the palpitations are probably nothing. But when you are losing trust in all the people and systems which are supposed to keep you safe, yet are crumbling around you like sidewalk falling away from the soles of your feet, you watch your steps more closely, and their eyes, and the fog which smothers your hands as you hold them up in front of your face. What you see is not what they see. What you see they do not believe. What you believe is not held in their hearts or written in their palms, but rather in the sand as you approach the great gray waves, in the sand as you depart along the lonely beach you must walk alone into the cool ocean mist. Removing my clothes I wade into the rushing water. Removing my inhibitions, white robes cast into the wind. Renewal. Reclamation. Intention. Disrobing my fear, setting it aside like a discarded blanket. My nakedness, my beautiful skin, my fragile baptismal bones, I deliver myself to the womb of the tangerine sea. The lakes that I carry become one with the water which holds my body like liquid silk, warm against cold, fire against ice, frothing, bubbling, flashing, washing and burning away my terror of this life, this one life. Sparks, salt crystals flash hot in the orange sun. Finding my feet, I stand and welcome the evening glow all over my body, shining, shining, shining so bright I caress myself inside my own admiring gaze. When they come for me I will be gone. They will never come. I lay down upon the sand, it is warm and grainy against my back. Waves crashing like thunder slamming again and again, pounding in my ears. My heart is skipping multiple beats, gushing, squeezing, pulsing too wildly. They tell me it’s nothing. Just age. Just a random, fleeting kind of thing. You have nothing to worry about. You are nothing to worry about. My mind warps, inverts, collapses. There is no pain. There are only my fingers working my breastbone, massaging my own tissue, wondering if Death may only be peace. If He may simply take me soft like a lover would, into the petal pink tongue of His open mouthed heat.
Click play to hear me speak it, read below for transcript. I’m here. You’re here. This is it for now. I’m thinking of you. Please stay safe…..
So hey there. I don’t know what to say except that I wanted to write a fantasy fiction prose piece but what kept coming to the front of my mind and heart instead was to just say hello to you and tell you I am thinking of you and I hope you are okay. Over the years I have written for so many different reasons. I have written and published two books of poetry and prose for people who like dark stuff, and witchy stuff, and spiritual stuff, uplifting and mind bending and inspiring stuff. I have written multiple blogs, some about art, some about business, some about teaching and learning and social media and all kinds of things. I am interested in so many things, I like sharing so many things. As my tastes change, I have changed my content, my audience has changed. Been through some changes. And people read my works for so very many different reasons. To express, move through, explore or experience love, pain, regret, abuse, fear, dreams, hopes, grief, sex, erotica, fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, what have you. So many many things, for so many reasons.
And up until today, up until this very moment I thought I knew what I wanted to do which was keep writing and reading and sharing as I always have, these short pieces that have brought you into my little wild orbit. Stuff that makes us think and feel and sweat and beg and cry and dig deep down into our bones. And I do still want to do all that. But today as I sit here listening to the wind howling outside my writing room window, and watch the little pink petals falling off of brand new spring flowery trees, I cannot help but think that this pandemic is changing all of us on some very fundamental level. Nothing feels the way it used to feel. What felt right before feels all distorted now. And it’s this weird time where we are forced indoors, afraid to go outside and for good reason. The world has not ever seen anything like this. We have not experienced anything like this ever before. All day wondering what the fuck is life, what the fuck are we gonna do now, and after this is over. When will this be over, right like when. Nobody knows.
And I have no answers. All I know is I couldn’t write anything but this right now and I think it is because I am usually the first person to check out of this world and fantasize or imagine or tell stories about alternate lives, random experiences. But there is no getting away from myself on this day. In this moment I am so very present, so confused and angry and afraid and hopeful and scattered and suspended somewhere between the coffee hours and the wine hours and I am not sure exactly what to write for you. What to say for you. What to offer for you to feel a little better, a little bit like there’s a candle for you here in the dark.
I like to write so we can feel the things no one in our regular life lets us feel. I can’t help but think that people who write and share like we do do it because this is the only place, or one of the very few places, on the planet where we can be ourselves without labels or judgments or explaining ourselves to anybody. I don’t normally just riff but today, I can’t help it. This was the only thing that felt real and tangible to me. To say I’m here, and I’m glad you are here, and I am sending you every heartfelt wish for health and safety and the preciousness of sanity in this absolute world gone absolute mad. Please take good care of yourself and the ones you hold dear. I am thinking of you. I am hopeful that I can get my head on straight soon and be able to write some prose that you will enjoy. Meanwhile, feel free to scroll through what is here, there is some written stuff, some audio stuff, there is my book Luminae on Amazon which I honestly do not know if it will ship right now physically but there is the Kindle version you could download if you’d like. Maybe if I make another one of these random pandemic fire side chats, I could read from my book a little bit for you, share some stuff from it, tell you why it is called Luminae, what kind of mood it is, why I wrote it, that kind of thing.
I don’t know. I’m here. I’m trying to take this all in and figure a way through. Just like you are doing. I salute you in your creative endeavors right now. It’s funny – well not really funny, but – it’s funny because before this crisis hit, very few people in the “real world” gave quiet time, or artistic endeavors, or writing or poetry the time of day. They thought art was a silly side bar after thought. But now, look. Now, watch and see. The artists are so important in times like these. So maybe that’s all for today. Let’s just be gentle and humble and honest and if we can, let’s just go make some good art.
It’s been a long hot day, the kind that melts little pools of sweat along the collarbone and hangs in your throat like the imminent threat of suffocation. The truth is it’s been actual hell for decades and most of the time you can keep it together but not tonight. Tonight it’s all too heavy. All the ache in your chest from one day after another, each the crying same, all the useless steps to nowhere in particular, one foot in front of the other, the other, the other. The buzz of electric wires sizzling beneath white summer heat lightning, cicadas vibrating in the damp grass, the crackling static coming from the neighbor’s old television set as they watch some fuzzy black and white flick, has us both delirious with need. We’ve been drinking tequila since you got home from work and you crush your cigarette into an old faded shot glass with the Vegas strip etched along the side. When you press your fingers against my neck I fall still underneath your gaze, motionless, patient as a fragile animal who instinctively trusts the hand she prays will feed it. I watch your face as you move your mouth around words that sound like a song soft enough to be whispered to a child who is frightened of the night for reasons she cannot speak about, only run from in the manic flash of dreams. Wolves. Forests. Chain link fences. Spreading my arms out above my head, I’m floating in a sea of stars spinning in slow circles atop the blackness. You tell me to close my eyes as you sink your burning fingers into the river of my body, and as I open to offer you the entire universe I carry within me, you tell me even my most vivid desires are only imagination. That the world we inhabit between us is a world conjured from nothing but the purest of devotions which can never be held onto, nothing that will last beyond the glimmer of the dewy garden weeping at dawn. That I have nothing to fear as long as I remember this. Without these bodies, the hands and mouths we become in forbidden moments like these; without the pleasure we deny and offer each other, without the distraction we deliver to one another, we are nothing but a beautiful, unbearable tragedy. Your voice drifts in and out of my consciousness as I slip deeper in to the cyclical motion and become one with whatever the grand scheme of all transient things is meant to be. The rhythm of your gentle stroking aligns my body with the moonlight and all the oceans on all of the planets waiting out there yet to be discovered syncopate their tides to the sweet pain of our perfect little private destruction. I seep into the cosmic vastness, sated and not afraid of anything. For a precious sliver of a time I don’t even deserve, I am held and safe and I know for certain this is what death must feel like: the emptiness of endlessness without the fear.
Maybe I should have spent more time worrying less about time. Maybe the things we waste sweaty nights and crying dawns raging about are just a handful of gory jokes offered up to the maniacal gods like mandarin sunsets that bleed from the open wounds of missing someone who has been taken away from you too soon. Maybe I write too much about loss and feeling left behind but what is more real than the cuts of separation, what is more beautiful than tracing the steps we should have taken in reverse.
Tears are the sickest sweetness. Hearts are the purplest greed.
I can taste spring on the lips of winter and in the face of the sky I can see the memories of the man in the moon, who grows tired alone. Planets and stars all burning out in soft lavender trails, no more hills, nothing left to climb.
What will become of the way we are, who will remember what we said in the fields. All these screams rising up from the tortured earth. Butterflies are messengers sent from another world. There must be someone up above, this is what they offer me like warm milk, and I sift in and out of believing. I breathe in hungrily and take this strange life for granted. I do it as I run the bath, I do it as I pour the drinks into crystal glasses of oblivion (take this cup away from me, take this chalice from my lips), I do it as you speak and I try but am unable to listen.
I love you and you are lovely and love is everywhere but I’m on the outside because I am the carrier of anger and I am a collection of ways to be torn apart, and my smile fell away from my bones a while back, and no one can see except these pages.
And so I give them everything. I come into the silence to bleed.
And all they ever give is the light reflected into the darkness.
I didn’t want it to be like this
you hanging by your teeth from my breast
and my not wanting to kiss you.
How the being of neglect walks alone through the hills
black cloaks and woodland creatures falling all around
the birds have come to nest the birds have come to die
for lack of air in my lungs.
I could watch you spinning for as long as it takes
to stand the earth still
and freeze the clouds overhead in place,
write to me of the darkness you see. I want
to read the words you choose.
I bathe in cool darkness,
shower and dress and tug at my
line my lips and my eyes and stain my cheeks
with the smut and the ink
of the darkness in which
we dare not between us
Morning rain is gentle and steady upon my face as I huddle into myself, thankful finally for a day without sun. For the most part, I find daylight too harsh. It interrupts my sense of what is beautiful. Who could I ever tell that shadows help me find the most dazzling silhouettes of light.
My mind is wandering (which, really, sounds too calm because my mind, she whirrs and trips over herself and cascades to places I would rather not say). I do not speak the way I am supposed to, I speak too much like fire and ice and volcanoes. I do not understand the language of the stars which birthed me. I do not speak words bred of tenderness anymore without turning this tongue into blades.
Rewards become punishments.
To sink is to swim.
It’s now and it’s never and it’s always in-between.
If I lose track of who is winning will you still let me in? I get so tired of keeping score. I get so sick of counting doors along hallways which never seem to end. (What are we counting for?)
All these floors hidden underneath the scaffolding around your heart, all these thick windows which slip away from me fall and crash and descend as I am cut, I am bruised, I am a shattered face on the inside of the muse.
But if I look deep enough, there is you. And you just keep rising up and up above dark clouds and I wonder why we try any more to place these blistered feet upon the ground. Will you run, will you stay, will you break as I have. Who will save us now when the walls are oceans splitting in half.
As I write this, all the lives I have since let go of drift off and I remember a time when I mistook the perfume of your secrets for nourishment. You who collects hearts in mouths and swallows their tears one by one, slow.
You the one who digs the claws of adoration in like furious flashes of heat across the summer lightning in my veins, you could have me and it breaks my heart you don’t want me anymore. When exactly does that shift? What rock face crumbles away from my self disclosure against which you suddenly decide if this is madness it suits me, not you.
And somehow the chaos appears to reduce you only slightly.
And somehow I have become the one fading from view.